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Level 1

Chart of Accounts and Subaccounts

Greetings. Looking for a best practice regarding subaccount numbering.


I am working with a company and a required chart of accounts from the parent organization, except they really didn't think this through.


What is the best practice for numbering subaccounts when the primarily accounts do not have suffcient incremental numbering?


Example: (below is the required CoA structure)

10802 - Bar Inventory

10803 - Food Inventory

10804 - Other Inventory


What I need is:

10802 - Bar Inventory

   1080a - Liquor

   1080b - Beer

   1080c - Wine

10803 - Food Inventory

   1080x - Diary

   1080y - Grocery

   1080z - Meat


Hopefully, you get the idea. I also know that if you use dashes (-) or periods (.) or other non-numeric characters in the account numbering it messes with the reporting and the roll-up/drill down.


Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Kind regards

3 Comments 3
QuickBooks Team

Chart of Accounts and Subaccounts

I appreciate your eagerness in learning Quickbooks Desktop, tlshuey.


You can change it manually by going to the Chart of Accounts page. Let me guide you through the steps below.


  1. In your QuickBooks company, go to the Lists menu and click Chart of Accounts.
  2. Right click on the Account and choose Edit Account.
  3. Hit Save & Close.


I added a screenshot for your reference.



Of course, I would still suggest consulting your accountant to know the correct accounts to be used.


To add a sub-account, please check out this article: Create, edit, or delete account in QuickBooks Desktop.


Also, I can see that this article can be helpful for you to understand the chart of accounts in QuickBooks.


I'm just a few clicks away if you have any other concerns. Take care.

Level 1

Chart of Accounts and Subaccounts

Thank you for the response, much appreciated, but the response didn't address the context of the inquiry as I am already comfortable with editing/adding existing the chart of accounts.


My question relates to creating a subaccount that doesn't follow the parent numbering sequence.


In the example, the CoA is what the company is required to use, but I need subaccounts under those parent accounts. There is not sufficient numbering between the parent accounts.


If I extend the subaccounts to seven (7) digits for example:


Example: (below is the required CoA structure). Notice there is not sufficient spacing at the parent level to add five digit subaccounts.

10802 - Bar Inventory

10803 - Food Inventory

10804 - Other Inventory


Will what I am proposing mess up reporting by extending from five digits to seven digits just for the subaccounts?


What I am proposing is:

10802 - Bar Inventory (Parent account) (5 digits)

  1080210 - Liquor (7 digits)

  1080220 - Beer (7 digits)

  1080230 - Wine (7 digits)


Again, also noting that any special characters (dashes, periods, spaces) do not work well for reporting.


Kind regards

QuickBooks Team

Chart of Accounts and Subaccounts

Hello, @tlshuey.


You can set QuickBooks to assign numbers to your accounts. Let's first make sure that your QuickBooks preferences are set to use account numbers. 


Here's how:

  1. Go to the Edit menu.
  2. Choose Preferences.
  3. Select Accounting.
  4. From the Company Preferences tab, put a checkmark on the following:
    • Use Account numbers
    • Require Accounts
  5. Click the Ok button.

Once completed, you can now add your accounts and sub-accounts. You can follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Lists menu.
  2. Choose Chart of Accounts.
  3. Click the New button.
  4. Select the Account type, then click the Continue button.
  5. Enter the Account details including the Account number.
    • For the sub-accounts, make sure to click the Sub-account tickbox. Then, pick the parent account. 8.GIF
  6. Click the Save and Close button. 9.GIF

You can always get back to us here if you have other questions. I'm always here to help.

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